"I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and somehow survives...Paradox and bedrock."-Edward Abbey

19 March 2012


You’re nervous. It’s been years since someone’s been to somewhere you lived, and never out here in the desert. Of course, it’s been years, eons, it seems, since you’ve found yourself in the situation that’s unfolding before you. You have a hard time remembering what you’re supposed to be feeling, but you’re fairly sure the pangs of terror you sometimes get, which run so counter to the euphoria, might be okay.

It was a month ago now, but is simultaneously feels like yesterday and longer ago than just a mere month; you woke up in a strange bed in strange house. Your clothing was carelessly discarded on the floor. By the way your body felt, you knew you had been doing something, but the likelihood of exactly what seemed more than a little absurd to you, as if it was just a very vivid dream.

So you got up and slipped into your jeans. There was the scent of something cooking and familiar voice humming some arcane tune in an esoteric accent. The strange place you found yourself in was not that large, so it didn’t take long to find the source of the scent and the humming.

Shara Little Feather stood over her stove, working on whatever concoction that was authoring the scent. You caught yourself being a little shocked, and perhaps embarrassed, because she wasn’t wearing a stitch of clothing, and the circumstance didn’t seem to phase her in the slightest. Before you could do or say anything, she turned to look at you, a beaming smile spreading across her lips.

“Morning, did you sleep well?”

“Um, fine,” you replied, trying not to ogle and still trying to make sense of what was happening. “Am I overdressed?”

“You’re fine, Rydlle,” she said as she walked over to wrap her arms around you. “Relax.”

And so it began. You still stick to the certainty that Shara is just very observant. Although, sometimes, the way she looks at you or the something she might say, gets you to question if she really does have some strange gift. She doesn’t ask you about your past or secrets, or your dreams. Only once has she ever asked about your scars.

“Dove through a plate-glass window on a dare,” you replied curtly.

“The regret cuts deeper than the glass did,” she mused, but there were no further words on the subject after that.

Over the last month, you’ve been around more and people have noticed. Annabelle Leigh asked you if you were in love. You didn’t know how to answer. The emotions you’ve caught yourself feeling about spending time with Shara Little Feather are alien and frightening, but intoxicating.

A knock at the door brings you back. Company. A wave of nauseous anxiety passes through you as you open your door. Shara looks almost bashful, and it helps to relieve your own sense of dread that something will go wrong. She holds up a bottle of wine for your inspection and you invite her in.

There’s no turning back now…


Dinner was lovely. How she knew what wine went so well with the meal was a pleasant shock. A second bottle is opened and relaxing music is playing in the background. You lose yourself in the moment. This is perfection. Bliss, pure and simple.

“What’s this?” Shara inquires.

She’s standing by the mantle. Her fingers are running across a particular black lacquer box you hoped she wouldn’t see, despite it being in plain sight. Over the last month, you’ve almost been able to put its existence out of your mind, noticing it only on odd occasions, which gets you to question if the bliss you’re feeling with Shara is right or an outright betrayal.

“It’s nothing,” you say quickly. “Let’s go outside and look at the stars.”

’Nothing’ wouldn’t prompt that kind of reaction,” she says, her liquid mercury eyes intensifying. “There something attached to this. Something dark.”

You shudder. It was probably your reaction that lead to what you want to dismiss as lucky guess. Her fingers continue to move along the box, twin tarantulas hunting the same insects. It looks for a moment like she might even try to open it, which causes you to stiffen.

“Get away from it,” you growl. “I promise if you don’t I’m going to break every bone in your body.”

“Violence does not suit you,” Shara says reproachfully. “You know that. It has never worked for you.”

She’s right. You have never been a violent person. Somewhere in your past, you were lauded for being gentle. The one and only time you ever struck anyone, you were placed in chains and forced to listen to the soundtrack of immolation.

“Shara,” your voice is small and broken. “Please…”

She slowly walks over to you. Her arms reach out and draw you in. Despite her touching curiosity about the box, you find yourself accepting her embrace. There doesn’t seem to be any malice in it. Perhaps you can somehow to convince yourself to almost forget again. To get lost in another blissful moment with her.

“Do you want to talk about it?”


She looks into your eyes. Her shimmering liquid mercury eyes are full of compassion. She kisses you softly.

“Will you tell me about it anyway?”


  1. Okay, let me sort this out in my mind. Ryddle strikes someone, there's a terrible fire, he gets handcuffed at the scene to stop him from diving into the fire in a rescue attempt, then has to watch as the fire burns, destroying everything.

    I thought Shara was too pushy about the box; forcing poor Ryddle to make idle threats, relive a tragedy he doesn't want to face yet.

    Can't wait to find out what's in that blasted box. I have an idea, though wouldn't dream of second-guessing you...

    1. You are very clever. There's something of a method to Shara's madness, which I'll be getting to...along with contents of the box.

  2. I didn't think Shara was too pushy. Sometimes you need a good push, otherwise you just stand still forever, right?

  3. There's that box again...I'm waiting...

    1. Kind of like the metaphoric elephant in the corner, isn't it? Answers are forthcoming.